Claudia Lawrence: Police search of gravel pits near missing chef's home over with 'nothing of obvious significance' found

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A two-week search in relation to the 2009 disappearance of Claudia Lawrence has ended with "nothing of obvious significance located", police have said.

Detectives from North Yorkshire Police had been searching the Sand Hutton Gravel Pits site - around eight miles from Ms Lawrence's home in York.

They began examining a wooded area on 24 August and later drained a lake in the hope of finding any evidence that would locate the body of the missing university chef.

But on Sunday, DSI Wayne Fox, head of the force's investigation team, said that only a "small number of items were recovered".

They will be assessed for any forensic potential, but are not being linked to Ms Lawrence's disappearance, he said.

Her family have been informed that the search has ended.

DSI Fox said that the force launched the search operation after receiving several separate strands of information "pointing to the area of Sand Hutton".

After consulting with experts from various fields, "we could not discount the possibility that Sand Hutton Gravel Pits could have a major relevance in explaining what happened to Claudia", DSI Fox said.

The investigation lead said he was "duty bound to conduct searches of the area", adding that "not searching was not an option".

He said that while nothing of "obvious" significance was found, public interest in the search has caused several people to come forward with information, which will be assessed in due course.

"As I hope the events of the last two weeks demonstrate, we are committed to establishing what happened to Claudia and bringing closure for her family," he concluded.

"You cannot fail to be moved by the ongoing suffering of a mother who does not know what has happened to her daughter.

"I again repeat the request to those who know what has happened to Claudia, to do the right thing, come forward and help end the torment of Claudia's family."

Ms Lawrence, 35, was last seen on 18 March 2009 and, although police believe she was murdered, her body has never been found.

Nine people have been questioned during two investigations into her disappearance but no charges have been brought.

Ms Lawrence's father, Peter, died earlier this year without knowing what happened to his daughter.

He campaigned for years for answers and lobbied for the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill - also known as Claudia's Law - which allows relatives to take control of their missing loved ones' financial matters.

Her mother said the recent search left her in "utter shock".

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting